The Show is Over

All good things must come to an end. Or so they say.

After three years of commitment, five years of my teenage life, I am bringing this blog to a close. Unfortunately, Life has become a little too busy for me to continue devoting time to it and there’s no way around it.A Life in Words

You may have gleaned a sense of this from the (rather lengthy) introduction in my first post for the year 1988 (click here if you missed it) – I was uncomfortable (not merely with the year itself, but) with the perceived time and effort it would take for me to continue transcribing and since 2016 has begun with a host of new opportunities for me, I have to make some sacrifices.

While it’s a bittersweet decision, I have to admit that I’d had a sense – a gut feeling – as we entered this year (and the correlative blog year, 1988) that it was ‘time’ …that I’d achieved what I was originally, subconsciously driven to do.

Initially it began as a kind of  ‘grief reaction’ following my mother’s death in 2012. Ruminating upon Life and how short it is, how unfair it is, but how it basically affects us all, all human beings in the same way, I wanted to open up and let it all out because I didn’t care anymore; I couldn’t see the point in living life ‘closed’. I wanted to acknowledge our interconnectedness: to highlight the fact that we are fundamentally The Same. We are all connected, despite the separateness of our physical bodies. A Life in WordsWe all think, love, like, dislike, suffer and enjoy the same, and further, these very experiences and attitudes change, all the time. We all say, think and feel things about people and experiences we encounter through the course of our lives, but because “Nothing is Permanent” (thank you Yoga for really teaching me this) our words, thoughts and feelings can, will and do change from moment to moment …and most certainly do over longer time spans (it’s called maturity). How many of us for example as children told our parents we “hated” them when we didn’t get what we were wanting? I remember doing it and genuinely feeling it, but the intense emotion passed – in whatever time frame – and Peace and Love were restored.

Bravely – or stupidly (as I said in my opening post About Me) I decided to challenge one of the fundamental human fears: being completely open and honest… in the face of certain judgement by others. I felt compelled to share my thoughts, feelings and actions, uncensored, in the hope that people might identify, might realise that in the End, none of it matters …because it’s repetitive, and changeable, even forgettable, but most of all, shared. We are each but one speck in the scheme of things: why should we take life so seriously?

Enjoying the ‘journey’, the writing, and yes, even the embarrassment (this in particular defines my aim!) this blog became a new habit (born of the old, yet still current & functioning one from which it sprang) but one that has revealed so much to me, about me: my reactions to the valuable lessons I faced during my adolescence, which were ultimately formative to the adult version of me. (And oh, how I have changed. Thank. God.) And this is what I came to realise was the ultimate, underlying driver of the process:

You see (and if you have been an avid follower, you may recall me having mentioned this previously) I had for a large portion of my adulthood, idolised my high school years – and in particular my senior high school years – as the best in my life. I now believe that I was driven – the purpose of this ‘process’ was –  to release this notion by re-experiencing and sharing it with others. Simply re-reading and mulling over each diary was never going to be powerful enough: I had to prepare it, analyse it and send it out into the ether for some real freedom.

A Life in WordsI kind of only realised and articulated how this catharsis played out for me in a post late November/early December 1987, when I was commenting upon a particular statement I’d made in a diary entry in that week. Here’s the excerpt:

“Well, less than a month left of this horrible revolting worst-year-of-my-life year. [This is so interesting, because unbeknownst to me, the coming year (1988) was to prove quite difficult for me as well (nothing as traumatic as the bus accident though of course) and for many, many years to follow, I despised it more than 1987. In fact, pretty much up until I began this blog, I actually considered 1987 (coupled with ’86) the best year(s) of my life. Much of this I think related to my burgeoning social and love lives, as well as the freedom of responsibility of childhood/school-life entwined with the imminent privileges of adulthood. Thankfully this very blogging process has released me from that limiting belief: whilst I’m re-living my past in detail, I’m also an observer and this has perfectly unlocked whatever deep, powerful connection I had to these times in my life (for which I am still grateful nonetheless, for the lessons they have individually and collectively presented to me). It’s truly liberating.]”

So, as much as I still believe in my founding reasons for this blog – being open and sharing, being Real – I know that its deeper purpose has been served. Apart from physical circumstances dictating, it truly is time.

It has been an adventure, a learning, a healing (and an embarrassment!) and I thank all my followers/readers for your interest and support. My especial thanks and gratitude go to the characters in my life: not merely for graciously accepting or tolerating being mentioned/included my posts but mostly for the integral parts you have played in my development of self, my life experiences and lessons.A Life in Words None of us is who we are today without the association of every other person and experience in our lives.


Life is a Creek

A Life in Words

Life is  a Creek. There are countless analogies out there but one of my clients mentioned it last week and it really stuck with me.

You see, I’ve had a pretty interesting few months. For someone who likes to think she “gets it”, who has perfect faith in her spiritual/philosophical belief system, I’ve had one hell of a big Awakening.

It started with a physical ailment; some serious back pain. It’s not like I’ve never had ‘serious back pain’ before: this was different. This didn’t actually involve the disc bulges or neural pinches I’ve typically experienced in the past. No, this was just plain old muscular seizure. My physio was a bit puzzled. My yoga teacher wasn’t.

I was aware enough to recognise it was due to Stress. Work stress. I’d taken on a fourth job… for a variety of reasons, but in all honesty, money was the ‘deep’ motivation. I thought this opportunity might also lead me in a new direction, widen my scope for ‘Success’ because it involved one of my passions.

Suffice to say, I was wrong. I’d had what I thought were rose-coloured glasses on. I’d ‘pushed’ myself under the belief that I was being pro-active, but I came to realise, I was actually being driven by a deep-seated ‘desperation’. As always happens, the awakening came in a series of realisations.

Firstly, on the physical level, I realised the culprit muscles seizing in my back were only doing what they were ‘taught’: in the Past, the physical treatment for my injuries/pain required me to be in a specific postural position for relief, release & recovery. Five or so years of this particular ‘rehab’ position had trained certain muscles to respond (that is, created a new pattern or ‘habit’) to any Stress, by immediately contracting to ‘protect’ that area that I had led myself to believe was inherently weak.

I knew what I had to do; from my philosophical/spiritual point of view (to which neuroscience is now alluding also, incidentally) it was simply Common Sense. My Yoga teacher didn’t really have to tell me. I knew it. And my Physio agreed. I had to Stop. Rest. Meditate. As much as possible. So relaxation/healing meditations were added to my daily routine.

When the root of my Stress was elicited by my acupuncturist (he didn’t actually have to dig it out of me – it seemed to be a case of just being ‘the right time’ for the words to spill out of my mouth) he gave me some more focus for my meditations and breathing that addressed my physical as well as emotional pain. And I practiced.

I had also been reading a book recommended to me by my yoga teacher (even better; she had presented it to me in a pile of books and I had been the one to choose it from the stack… another perfect example of “cosmic timing”) It had taken me awhile to get through because I simply had so much other stuff to attend to, but I had caught glimpses of clarity as I worked my way through it.

The kicker came towards the end of the book.

Dammit, I know this stuff. I’ve read heaps of ‘new age’ literature and it all makes perfect sense to me. How could I not have seen this and more importantly lived it until now?

The author – himself a yogi – wrote of his own ‘Illumination’ and his three simple words struck a huge chord with me.

“I don’t know.”

What? This:

My whole life has been plagued by these words, with respect to ‘Purpose’. What Am I Here For?A Life in Words

I have struggled with this forever. It’s the deepest source of my Depression.

Describing the weight that lifted from him when he spoke those words out loud to no one in particular, and moreover, the revelation that it didn’t matter – none of it mattered – Blew. Me. Away. Forget the light bulb, I had a hundred floodlights in my face.

The source of my deepest struggle instantly dried up.

I always knew I was the master of my life: heck, I have read enough to know that. But to strike at the heart of one of your most dominant Concerns is totally liberating.

I can fully practice what I have learnt now. In one fell swoop, my Fear of the Future has gone.

So now I’m focusing on being a Leaf.

As my client put it, if Life is a creek and we are all fallen leaves being freely carried by its running waters, we are bound to be washed up against debris, pooled & eddied. Most of us get stuck: trying to fight, resist or control. What leaf ever moved a rock or fallen tree trunk out of its path? These struggles and challenges are an absolute and unavoidable part of Life. I’m ready to let go of resistance, to let the waters carry me where I’m meant to go.

I am finally ready to really Trust.

I have found renewed Faith. And god, it feels amazing!

Surviving Mother’s Day

This time last year was a completely different story.

I went for a surf with some girlfriends early but it was cold & quite heavily overcast. And I was wearing a brand new steamer (full length wetsuit) for the first time.

I could barely move in the thing. Turns out adolescent boys’ steamers ARE a different cut to women’s (that’s what you get for trying to save some dollars). So catching waves was difficult, which put me in a bad place. And that’s where it went awry.

There were a few hot tears…. then actual sobs. Yep, I was bawling in the ocean. I told the friend nearest to me, “I can’t do this” and left. Somehow I must’ve calmed down enough to get to my car, pack up and leave without anyone seeing (or commenting) on my state, but at home I lost it again, having a shower in the very place where Mum had had the fall that put her in hospital for the very last time. I kept seeing her laying in that contorted position, helpless, painful & pitiful on the shower floor.

I put on jeans, a purple woollen skivvy with light woollen vest over the top and my ugh shoes and I lay on the couch. I don’t know what I was doing, but I couldn’t stop crying. At some stage, a charity collector came to the door and I was entirely unashamed with my swollen eyes & tearstained face to turn him away. He didn’t seem offended in the slightest.

Another girlfriend came by to check on me, trying to convince me to get out of the house but I wanted to wallow. I needed to.A Life in Words

They say the ‘first’ of everything is the hardest. I have to agree. In fact, apart from the first 24-48 hours after her death, nothing compared to that day, in terms of grief. Not my birthday, not even her birthday, nor Christmas or the anniversary of her death. Mother’s Day 2013 was my most intense experience of grief.

Today does not compare.

It’s warmer, it’s sunny and I had a better time in the surf. I can thank her – or the Universe (or whatever) – for these circumstances, but the important thing is really that I have found Peace, myself. I still miss her and it really doesn’t take much for my eyes to well up (hey, it’s happening now…) but my heart is not aching because I know she’s with me. She always will be, now that she’s free of the ‘meat suit’ the rest of us are trapped in. This is Comforting. And Comfort naturally allays Grief.

I love you, Judi. But we both know you know that.x